About the Camera & Me

Among the memorable presents for my 21st birthday were two dozen homemade cream puffs from my aunt and a Pentax Spotmatic SLR from my parents. The former became a sweet memory. The latter became my companion for several decades.


If you’re of a certain vintage you’ll recall the Spotmatic. It was one of the premier cameras of its time. Back when you had to load film into a camera. When you took 24 or 36 pics, removed the film and took it to your neighbourhood camera store for developing.

The day you picked up your photos you might be aghast or delighted. You might shake your head at some, wondering why you wasted a shot. Others left you wishing you’d taken more.

That Pentax went most places I did. It went to Russia and Ukraine and Georgia. It went up and down and across mountains in the Rockies. It travelled beaches and deserts and glaciers. It spent nights tucked into my sleeping bag inside a snow-covered tent and days wrapped in plastic in a canoe. It climbed and rappelled and rambled through my life.

But all relationships end. My beloved Pentax died.

With trepidation I entered the world of digital cameras. I feared I’d never again see the quality of photos my old camera had delivered. I spent days agonizing over my choice. Finally, I settled on an Olympus C-770 UltraZoom. 4 megapixels. 10X optical zoom. Small but plenty of gusto.

It was love at first click. Like its predecessor, the Olympus went almost everywhere with me. And life was good.

Fast forward 7 years. The spring of 2011. Southern Arizona. While shooting a short film clip I heard an unsettling series of clicks inside my camera. Not good. The result was worse than I imagined. The camera refused to do anything. Nada. Zip. Zilch. The lens went in and out and nothing more.

Back home I moped from one camera store to the next. No one thought my Olympus was fixable. There were offers to send it to the manufacturer but no one held out hope. Bottom line: It would be autopsy not resuscitation.

A sombre mood settled upon me. I hadn’t been camera-less since I was about 9 or 10 and I found a small, boxy Brownie camera under the Christmas tree.

One of the most appealing features of my Olympus was its small size. Over the Pentax years I’d accumulated so many lenses and fittings and gizmos that I was always lugging a gadget bag with me. No more. The small hand-sized Olympus met my needs perfectly.

Now that “O” was laid to rest, I had the option of going with a digital SLR. But I knew I’d want another lens and a bag to put it in and a spare battery and …   Nope. Ain’t gonna go there.

Short version of my search: I settled on the Canon PowerShot G12.

Call me cranky. The first weeks did not go well. It was not my Olympus. It didn’t do what “O” did. The though-the-lens optical viewfinder was a joke. There was no lens cap, just a retracting iris-like movement back into the camera. (A great dirt catcher in my mind.) The strap attachment interfered with the LCD viewer. Et cetera, ad nauseum. I began to think I’d made a terrible mistake.

Weeks passed. I went back to the camera guide. (When in doubt, read instructions.) Oh, that’s what that button does. I spent time taking random shots. Aha, that’s how to get that effect. Slowly the bond between us grew. “C” began to show its versatility. More pics. More practice. I realized I hadn’t made a mistake after all. We were going to get along just fine.

We’ve been together almost 6 years. Yes, I could trade up. More bells. Better whistles. But I like this little camera. I figure we’ve got lots of adventures left in both of us.

Life is good.


Post Script January 30, 2017
And then I changed my mind ….

21 thoughts on “About the Camera & Me

  1. The best camera in the world is the familiar friend in hand when the images in front of you! I’ve had many more cameras in my life; many loves, some frustrations, and the occasional rat. Even rats capture beauty now and again. I like your style!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Some times this week I longed for a camera that would take the shots that would let me trace the veins in a mosquito’s wing. Or count the hairs on a flea’s hind leg. (How do people get some of those shots!?!) Some day I may plunk down the cash for a camera that will do that. But for now my little Canon is perfect for those “when the moment arises” shots. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you look at the pictures on my images page, I bet you will have a hard time telling which were shot with the Canon T6i DSLR and which were shot with my iPhone 6.


      2. You’re right — I’d be guessing. I like your idea of an image collection. This is a beautiful gallery. And turquoise berries?!? Luv ’em. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Local muscadine. I almost never see them because the birds eat them before they get ripe enough for me. I am amazed by the variety of color!


      4. I just googled “muscadine”. They’re grapes! Who’da thunk. None of the images I saw have a patch on yours — they’re almost other worldly. What a delight to have those colours in the garden.


  2. What a coincidence: my first SLR was a Pentax Spotmatic too. It was even marked Asahi, not Honeywell, because it came from the Panama Canal Zone rather than from a store in the United States proper. I learned to use it in Honduras. My Spotmatic didn’t die but got stolen. Many years later I bought one at a yard sale for $10 but barely used it because by then I had newer and better equipment and we were already into the digital age.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I so enjoyed reading your biographic duet with camera(s). It’s funny how these little steel and glass boxes reach into our hearts through our retinas and become extensions of ourselves, enabling us to share, not only parts of the world we see, but also how we see it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hi Sally, thanks for following me. I have just bought a Canon Mark III and I am like you, not sure, liked my old Canon better. But I am finding some shots are good, very good, so I will keep practising. Following you too as all things camera are helpful to know. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Judi … I’d be interested to hear the pros and cons as you go. As I drool over some of the macro shots online I’m tempted to upgrade, tho’ I love the convenience of my small Canon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Sally – thank you so much for visiting and following Beauty Along the Road. I loved your description of how you grew up in intimate exploration of the natural world. Soon, very few people will be able to say the same. Glad to have found another nature lover and conspirator 🙂


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